At the 74th Geneva Automobile Salon, Volkswagen will be showcasing its new (semi-series-mature) cabriolet, the concept C design study. (C stands for cabriolet and coupÃ©.) The vehicle features a new generation of fold-away steel roof, which transforms this four-seat Volkswagen from an elegant coupÃ© to a stylish cabriolet in a matter of only seconds. Or vice-versa, of course. The roof also features an integrated glass sunroof. This exciting new automobile provides a view on things to come, on how a new Volkswagen cabriolet in the next-higher vehicle class to the successful New Beetle Cabriolet could ultimately look. And performance? The Concept C is driven by a 150-hp FSI engine.
The way in which this five-level roof system tucks away out of sight is truly astonishing. Once the lock-in mechanism is released, the sunroof retracts to the back of the car (stage 1). The rear end of the roof (the C pillar, including the rear windscreen) then lifts up and glides forward (stage 2). By this time, the glass sunroof is moved underneath the rear end of the roof, forming a compact sandwich unit. The system hydraulics now fold the boot lid, to which the rear shelf is attached, up and back (stage 3).
The roof rails of the Volkswagen Concept C release themselves from the windscreen frame, retracting into the available cavities in the sandwich unit (adjacent to the rear side windows). Et voila! The coupé has now been transformed into a cabriolet.